Amazon lets sellers resume shipping 'non-essential' items to warehouses

The company has been reserving much of its warehouse space for cleaning and medical supplies.

PHILIPPE LOPEZ via Getty Images

In an effort to better meet the surge in consumer demand, Amazon announced last month that its fulfillment centers would only accept shipments of medical supplies and household cleaning goods from independent merchants. At the time, the company said that the restrictions would last until April 5th. That date came and went, but the company announced today that third-party sellers will be able to store some “non-essential” goods at Amazon warehouses starting later this week. An Amazon spokesperson previously told The Wall Street Journal, “Products will be limited by quantity to enable us to continue prioritizing products and protecting employees, while also ensuring most selling partners can ship goods into our facilities.”

While it’s important that everyone in need has access to a reasonable amount of medical supplies and household goods during the coronavirus pandemic, third-party sellers rely on the company’s fulfillment centers to hold their inventory. Amazon’s recent restrictions -- though arguably necessary -- may have hurt small businesses who didn’t have a fall-back plan, so this update could be good news for vendors who heavily leverage Amazon’s facilities. Between this and the company’s decision to hire 75,000 more employees, customers could also start seeing faster deliveries. Even some Amazon Prime members -- who are entitled to two-day shipping -- have been waiting weeks to receive their orders.

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